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Celebrating Inuit Art 1948-1970
     

Celebrating Inuit Art 1948-1970

by Maria Finckenstein (Editor), Maria Von Finckenstein (Editor), James M. Houston (Essay By), Maria Von Finckenstein (Editor), James A. Houston (Editor)
 

Lavishly illustrated with more than 100 color photographs, Celebrating Inuit Art 1948-1970 is an impressive tribute to an art form that was virtually unknown fifty years ago and is now regularly featured in major art exhibitions worldwide.

The works of art in this book are organized by geographic area, to illustrate the strong regional styles of this

Overview

Lavishly illustrated with more than 100 color photographs, Celebrating Inuit Art 1948-1970 is an impressive tribute to an art form that was virtually unknown fifty years ago and is now regularly featured in major art exhibitions worldwide.

The works of art in this book are organized by geographic area, to illustrate the strong regional styles of this unique art form. In Nunavik, narrative is emphasized, whereas the works of Baffin artists stress the beauty of the richly textured local stone. In Keewatin, the sculptures look pre-historic yet modern, while the work of the Kitikmeot is distinguished by its shamanic whalebone carvings. Quotes, reminiscences and historic snapshots provide introductions to individual Northern communities.

In a major and invaluable essay, James Houston, a tireless and passionate champion and respected authority on Inuit art, recounts his experiences and observations of fifty years with the Inuit people.

The stunning photos, taken by Museum photographer Harry Foster, illustrate major pieces from the Canadian Museum of Civilization as well as treasures from James Houston's personal collection.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Patricia Monaghan
If you can have only one book on Inuit sculpture in your library, let it be this one. Not only do the fabulous photographs in it, which present with exquisite clarity of detail carvings of bone and stone from the various art collectives of northern Canada -- more widely known for their prints than their sculptures -- recommend it. So do the absorbing accompanying essays, which include a substantial memoir by non-Inuit anthropologist James Houston, who assisted in the original formation of the art collectives and tirelessly promoted the artists; a significant survey of the works of one of the finest carvers, George Pitseolak, by Ann Meekitjuk Hanson; and a moving chapter by editor von Finckenstein, in which the artists themselves speak of their motivations for creating and continuing to create their world-renowned artwork. In addition, a generous note describing the piece depicted and often its creator accompanies each colorplate. Informative and even scholarly, the book still never for a moment lacks passion for its subject or the rich but threatened culture that is these artworks' seedbed.
Choice - E.L. Anderson
Fine color photos ... The exhibit's particular goal was to communicate what Native artists say about their work.
Patricia Monaghan
If you can have only one book on Inuit sculpture in your library, let it be this one.
Booklist, May 15, 2000
Gay W. Neale
The emotion, abstract forms, joy, and animism of these works glow from the pages.
Library Journal, May 2000
E.L. Anderson
Fine color photos ... The exhibit's particular goal was to communicate what Native artists say about their work.
—(Choice, November 2000)
Library Journal
Faced with government pressure to move to settled locations in the 1940s, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic welcomed James Houston's enthusiasm for their artistry. Houston set up a cooperative and brought a new source of income to the Inuit while popularizing and preserving one of the most moving and fluid forms of art in the world. This volume, which focuses on the carvings, offers a somewhat specialized view of the golden age of Inuit art from 1948 to 1970. Vibrant carvings from Houston's own collection and that of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) in Hull, Quebec, are covered in elegant and ample illustrations (there are 150 plates). Many captions have little to do with the art; but the emotion, abstract forms, joy, and animism of these works glow from the pages. The text comprises CMC curator von Finckenstein's succinct, lucid introduction to the economic and social context; journalist Ann Meekitjuk Hanson's account of one artist's transition; and Houston's recollections of discovering the native talent and developing it in the 1940s and 1950s (though, strangely, he focuses on printmaking). For broader coverage of prints, tapestries, and other and more recent art forms, see Ingo Hessel's Inuit Art (LJ 11/1/98); for a detailed history and development, see Richard C. Crandall's Inuit Art: A History (LJ 2/1/00). Recommended for larger art and Native American collections.--Gay W. Neale, Meredithville, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781552631041
Publisher:
Key Porter Books
Publication date:
02/05/2000
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.52(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

James Houston is a prolific writer, artist and film maker. He is past chairman of both the Eskimo Arts Council and the American Indian Art Center in New York City.

Ann Meekitjuk Hanson is a journalist and broadcaster, and former deputy commissioner of the Northwest Territories.

Maria von Finckenstein is the Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. She has published extensively in numerous publications and is a regular contributor to Inuit Art Quarterly.

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